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Highland Hospital honors 'Battle of the Bulge' veteran

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) - Thursday morning, Highland Hospital held a ceremony to honor hospice patient Wilbur Cooper, a Battle of the Bulge veteran.

Locally, there are only a handful of remaining veterans from the battle in World War II, so Thursday's tribute was especially meaningful.

Wilbur Cooper, whose family and friends call Bill, was honored for his service, and his lifetime of devotion to his fellow veterans.

Cooper is the oldest surviving Battle of the Bulge veteran in Western New York, and turns 101 years old just four days after veterans day next week.

Cooper is now in hospice at Highland Hospital.

"Veterans Day means quite a lot because everybody here might not be here were it not for Veterans Day," said Bill Cooper, World War II veteran. "I'm thankful for that, thankful for friends I made when I was there. I was one of the lucky ones, I came home."

Cooper regularly attended the Battle of the Bulge ceremonies at the Port of Rochester, but will not be able to make it to this year's ceremony at the Port of Rochester on Monday.

After twenty years, that ceremony will be the last as the local membership is down to five men. Cooper is one of them.

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